Morenci year-end police report 01.13.10

Written by David Green.

Crime statistics go up and down from year to year in Morenci, but overall the various incidents remain consistent, said police chief Larry Weeks in his annual year-end report to city council Monday night.

“It remains fairly consistent,” Weeks said. “We live in a safe community. It’s a good place to live. We do have some crime, as every community does, but it’s not dramatic and it’s not out of control so I feel comfortable about where we’re at.”

Chief Weeks said the past year was the first in a while for consistent staffing. He’s faced layoffs and short-term employment by officers moving on to larger departments, but recent months have brought stability.

“I’ve had my most consistent crew that I’ve had in the seven years that I’ve been here,” he said.

Weeks noted an overall increase of 80 calls over the previous year, but a few fewer calls than 2007.

The incidence of larcenies and bad checks were both down despite the weak economy, he said, along with damaged property.

Healthy and safety complaints—dog problems, tall grass, etc., declined but, but that was partially due to a change in procedure.

Weeks noted an increase in suspicious situations and general disputes about property, along with an increase in calls to serve outside the city.

The state police and county sheriff’s department have been cut back in staff and local departments are sometimes called to help fill the void.

“That’s something we’re going to have to seriously continue to monitor,” Weeks said.

Community outreach efforts continue to remain high. Weeks said he’s spent a lot of time in the school buildings—something he considers important.

A special effort in 2009 was a collaboration with the fire department to talk with high school seniors about smoke detectors in relation to fire safety in dormitories and off-campus living.

  • Homecoming Court
    HOMECOMING—One senior candidate will be chosen Morenci’s fall homecoming queen during half-time ceremonies Friday at the football field. In the back row are seniors Mikayla Price, who will be escorted by Mason Vaughn; Madison Bachman, escorted by Kiegan Merillat, and Mikayla Reinke, escorted by Griffin Grieder. Senior Ariana Roseman is absent from the photo. Her escort is Garrett Smith. In the front is sophomore Abbie White, who will be escorted by Ryder Price; junior Madysen Schmitz, escorted by Harley McCaskey and freshman Madison Keller, escorted by Jarett Cook.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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